I was thrilled when the Instagram story highlights feature was released.
Why? Because I didn’t like that Instagram stories would just disappear after 24 hours.
Don’t get me wrong: I love the casual, fun side of Instagram stories. But it felt inefficient to put a bunch of effort into making videos and engaging stories just for the story to go away forever.
The return on time investment wasn’t as good as it could be, because the lifetime of the story was so short.
But now? That’s all changed. Because new followers and users who have missed your best stories can go back and watch them!
What’s so great about Instagram story highlights?
This feature is huge for business owners. It gives us a chance to build trust, share important information, and highlight glowing reviews from happy customers.
Instead of being fleeting, Instagram stories are now like mini-blog posts that we can save and share directly in the Instagram app via highlights.
So how can you use Instagram story highlights to grow your business? Here are 7 clever ways.
1. Build Trust with Behind-the-Scenes Content
It takes a lot of courage to get vulnerable or share behind-the-scenes footage of your life and business. But it’s one of the BEST ways to build trust with potential customers.
Once they get to know you, they’ll stop seeing you as a faceless business and they’ll start to make a connection with you. This is especially true if you take videos of yourself (even if it’s as simple as just talking to the camera).
Save your best behind-the-scenes videos in a story highlight reel, so new users can get to know you right away.
Example: For my online bookshop, I saved a video of myself on the 2-year anniversary of my business (which also happened to be my 29th birthday), talking about how much I appreciate my customers.
2. Set Expectations with Policies
One of my least favorite things about Instagram: your bio is very limited, so it’s difficult to get important information across.
Enter the Instagram highlight feature. You can use this to share your return policy, how users can make a purchase from you, shipping details – any necessary information they should know.
That way, they know exactly what to expect from you, and they’re more likely to order from you!
3. Feature Your Opt-In Freebie(s)
If you have an opt-in freebie to get people on your email list (hint: you should!), your story highlights are a great place to feature it.
Make sure the link is either in your bio, or is an easy link to type. Then, share a story that highlights a sneak peek image of your freebie and a few details of what it includes.
If it solves a problem, adds value to someone’s life, or is just really entertaining, be sure to mention that!
Example: I created a Summer Reading Planner as an opt-in freebie to grow my email list. After I shared about it in my stories, I made sure to save it as a highlight on my profile with the title “Freebies”.
4. Display Social Proof with Reviews
There’s no better feeling than getting a glowing review from a customer.
And sharing these kind words is one of the best ways to gain social proof for your business.
Not only does it show that your brand is trustworthy and your products are valuable, but it also adds a hint of FOMO (fear of missing out). Nobody wants to miss out on an awesome product that others are gushing over!
5. Show Expertise in Your Niche
Show your audience that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to your niche.
This is especially important if you sell digital information products (like eBooks), but it helps for any type of business.
For example, if you sell crochet toys, your audience wants to see that passion and knowledge shine through. Share stories on how you come up with crochet patterns, or the best yarn for certain types of crochet.
6. Generate Excitement with Announcements
Your Instagram story highlights can be temporary, if you want them to be.
Let’s say you have a product restock coming up in 2 weeks. Share a teaser story about it, then save it to your highlights until the restock occurs.
That way, anyone who missed the first story gets a chance to see it after the fact. Once the restock occurs, remove the story.
You can also share evergreen announcements, like if you revamped your website or if you collaborated with another brand on a new product.
7. Highlight Popular Products
Make sure your audience knows about your most popular products!
Use a highlight real to feature them. Overlay text with snippets of your product descriptions. (Here are the 7 best Instagram story apps to make your stories stand out even more.)
Or, share user generated content (photos of your products taken by your customers). Just be sure to give credit to the creator!
Do I need Instagram story highlight icons or covers?
The short answer: no.
Sure, they can make your profile more cohesive and attractive. But if you think about it, you’re probably more likely to be enticed by a snapshot of someone’s face from a video than by an icon of a laptop.
I’m know I’m more likely to click on a highlight when I get a sneak peek of exactly what type of content is behind it.
But highlight covers have their place, and they can strengthen your branding. So it’s up to you if you’d like to use them. It never hurts to play around!
Instagram story highlights are perfect for re-using images, videos, and information you’ve already taken the time and effort to create.
They allow new users who stumble on your profile to get to know you, learn about your business, and want to follow you. So make sure you’re using them to your advantage!
Related post >>>>> 11 Engaging Instagram Story Ideas for Your Business